Do it, all I have to say is just do it. It can be terrifying to throw yourself out of your comfort zone but, I promise the fear is all in your head. I think that naturally as humans we are programed for routine and a singular goal. However, how many successful people do you know that follow the routine of “the norm?” Life is a crazy road, that throws a lot of twists, turns, and bumps along the way. It is perfectly normal to fear the unknown, but you have to change your perspective if you want to grow. The most successful people I know see obstacles as challenges. The reality of it is, you will always overcome something no matter how long it takes you. When you put yourself in a situation of struggle and adaptation, your mind gets put into survival mode. From those circumstances however, a new found creativity is born. I have become addicted to that feeling and let me tell you it is worth it. If you have the opportunity to pick an Entrepreneur’s brain, listen to the passion of their creative business. Their business most likely didn’t start as glamourous as it is today, but that passion was born from chasing a dream.
I didn’t travel a lot in my childhood, due to my family just being your average working middle class family. I was obsessed with social media, because I could see other places and learn new things that I wouldn’t find in “my norm.” The reality of it is, there is no norm. Everywhere you go, you meet new people, see different cultures, and find new adventures. From those experiences you begin to find yourself and adapt. When I was 19 years old, an opportunity that I didn’t know would open a lot of doors for me, presented itself. I landed a summer internship and spontaneously uprooted my life to move to Chatham, Massachusetts for the summer. I was beyond nervous and knew absolutely nothing about Cape Cod. At the time I was working at a basic hotel in Buffalo. I didn’t despise my job I just felt like it was too easy and I was too comfortable. I spent 4 months in Chatham working at a bougie 5 star resort and made a lot of friends from colleges throughout the North East. My days off were like a vacation, I would go out on a boat, visit all the different islands, try new foods, and meet new people from all over the country with amazing life stories. Something in me changed that summer, and it has continued to impact me to this day.
I accepted that internship almost immediately, I didn’t even have a car at the time. I know this sounds very impulsive but impulse works for me. You should want to try everything at least once in your life. I’d rather look back and say “I probably shouldn’t have done that” versus “I wish I had done that.” This is exactly how you learn, grow, and find the things you love to do. So, I had four months to figure out how I was going to get there and find an apartment. I did this all by myself at 19 years old. I have to admit that was pretty ballsy of me but, I wanted it bad enough to make it work. This opportunity was the first big step in my career and I had the opportunity to live in another state. I still remember how stressful those four months were leading up to my internship. I took up extra hours at work to save money, my friends and family were baffled and not entirely supportive, and I knew NOBODY. Even my own support system thought it was a bad idea, and that I wasn’t ready. Realization started to hit me as I got closer, and I started to doubt myself. I almost pulled out, out of fear of everything that could possibly go wrong. I remember going to the Dean of Hospitality at the time and sitting in his office to talk about my internship. He happened to be born and raised on the Cape as a child. He shared a few amazing stories of what summer was like there as a kid and that he still frequently visits to this day. I had listened to the fears of others, and almost let it dictate my success.
So you guessed it, I went on that internship. I bought my first car, packed up my things, and drove 8 hours to Cape Cod. Even though I ended up getting a $500 speeding ticket on the way, I remember the awe struck moment I had thinking “I can’t believe I’m actually here.” I’ll just say this, that ending up being the best summer of my life so far. I made amazing friends instantly, fell in love for the first time, and went to the ocean almost every day. I was working at the most gorgeous resort I’ve ever seen and living life to it’s fullest. I learned a lot about my strengths that summer, and I really took it all in. When I mentioned impulse earlier I do believe there is a certain beauty to it within your boundaries. It wasn’t until I heard the negative thoughts from others, that I started to doubt my decision. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, it was because they couldn’t do it. I strongly urge any of you to just go for it. Take that internship, start a business, or whatever choice you’re thrown. It’s your life and you always have to take the steps you feel are necessary for your path. At the end of the day you won’t be living with your parents forever, you’re not going to have the same friends since high school and, you’re not going to be the same person forever.
When I came back from that internship, I felt like a new person. Buffalo didn’t feel like home anymore and my senior year of college felt strange. I was surrounded by people who we’re doing the same old things. I was very to myself my senior year, I knew I wanted to move away. After two internship that went great, I felt comfortable trying to find a career in a new state and I spent my year focused on that. I had job offers in NYC, New Port Beach, Boston, Scottsdale, and West Palm Beach. I finally decided on West Palm Beach approximately 1,325 miles from home. Again, very little support and I was starting fresh again. While this experience has been extremely different, that is a story for another time. I took a giant leap at a very young age and I have learned a lot throughout my years of taking risks. You will be just fine, and you can do it by yourself. You just have to find the strength within you to struggle for a bit. The bigger the risk the greater the reward. My advice to you, is to live like a student, you can always learn something new and exciting from the people around you. If you are a good person, good people and circumstances will gravitate towards you. You just have to learn what you’re capable of, and stay true to yourself.